New York Snow Winds Down as Season’s First Storm Exits

The U.S. Northeast is digging out from the season’s first big winter storm, which left two dead in Pennsylvania and dumped more than 3 feet of snow in some regions.

Manhattan’s Central Park got 10.5 inches (27 centimeters) through 7 a.m., and Washington Heights had 9 inches, said Nelson Vaz, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton, New York. Those totals could rise as snow comes to an end across the city in the next few hours.

Further to the west, a heavy band of snow across central and southern parts of the state left Binghamton with 35 to 40 inches, said Marc Chenard, a senior branch forecaster at the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. Albany will get 20 inches, and parts of Northern New England will get more than 2 feet.

A pileup involving dozens of vehicles in western Pennsylvania left at least two people dead, according to the Associated Press. While the storm hit some areas hard, it produced few widespread power outages or crippling transportation delays. New York State Police said in a tweet the agency has responded to more than 500 accidents and disabled vehicles.

The snow in Binghamton was falling at a rate of 5 inches an hour at times overnight, but the storm is losing potency as it moves into New England.

“That’s been the hardest-hit area,” Chenard said. “New York City is pretty much done. Their accumulation is done.”

The storm hit as trucks carrying Pfizer Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine from Michigan disperse across the U.S. Officials, however, said the weather will have little impact on vaccination efforts. “New York City has developed a plan to ensure vaccines continue to be delivered,” said Bill Neidhardt, press secretary to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Power has been knocked out for more than 60,000 customers from Ohio to Massachusetts with more than half in Virginia, according to PowerOutage.us, a utility tracking website. Across the U.S., more than 1,400 flights were canceled Wednesday and Thursday, with the bulk of those in New York, Washington and Boston, according to FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking service.

The Long Island Rail Road is reporting widespread delays of about 20 to 30 minutes and Amtrak has canceled some trains along its Northeast Corridor between Washington, New York and Boston. MetroNorth warned of scattered delays for Thursday.

The Covid lockdown in many areas kept the economic impact from the storm lower than it would have been, said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler with Enki Research.

In addition to New York, the storm dropped about 1 to 2 inches in Washington, 5 to 6 inches in Philadelphia and Boston got 6 to 8 inches, Chenard said. Snow will continue in the Boston area through midday.

While the snow is moving on, the cold will remain across the Northeast through the weekend before temperatures in New York become more mild next week, Chenard said. In Washington, readings will be near 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) by Monday, the National Weather Service said.

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